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Liberalism is in danger, and liberal values and democracy are facing many challenges in today’s world. McCloskey’s book is the antidote to the ideology of populisms, which are trying to make illiberal solutions for today’s challenges, and against the “big state” that is so loudly proclaimed in today’s public spheres and fora of exchange. McCloskey paints a picture of our history and free markets very differently from what we are almost coerced into seeing on a daily basis. It is a picture of optimism and progress, a story not filled with greed and corruption but rather human dignity and ingenuity. Not a story of war, coercion, and hierarchy—but of international cooperation, sweet talk, and egalité.

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